Friday, November 25, 2011

What did our grandmothers covet on Black Friday?

Women crowding around a nylon stocking display at Gimbel's Department Store, 1947
Photo by Same Shere from LIFE Photo Archive
I am staying far, far away from any Black Friday madness today, but, I did wonder what our grandmothers were into as far as fashion decades ago in the days before Black Fridays dominated our Thanksgiving weekend (Black Friday dates back to Philadelphia circa the 1960's, read more here).  So here's a look at some of the most influential fashion designers and fashion looks of the 30's, 40's and 50's.  Classic is one way of putting it because frankly I would not mind wearing any of these pieces now and good thing I can from the comfort of my own home and the beauty that is vintage Etsy.

Influential Fashion Designers: Madeleine Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli
Popular Looks: exaggerated shoulders, pants and slacks for women, more widespread use of zippers and man-made fibers, bias-cut dresses, capelets and bolero jackets
Hollywood Fashion Icons: Fred Astaire, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Carole Lombard
Carole Lombard, 1938 Photo by Eisenstaedt from LIFE Photo Archive

Influential Fashion Designers:  Vera Maxwell, Bonnie Cashin, Christian Dior
Popular Looks: Knee-length, flared, straight and pleated skirts, thick and low heels, subdued colors, sweaters, accessorizing with hats, purses and gloves, structured undergarments
Hollywood Fashion Icons: Rita Hayworth, Ingrid Bergman, Vivien Leigh
Ingrid Bergman, 1944 Photo by John Florea from LIFE Photo Archive
Influential Fashion Designers:  Hubert de Givenchy, William Travilla, Cristobal Balenciaga, Pierre Balmain
Popular Looks: Full circle skirts, saddle shoes, Dior's "new look" featuring a feminine silhouette of longer skirts, a fitted waist and soft rounded shoulders, narrow pants and shorts, petticoats, stiletto heels
Hollywood Fashion Icons: Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe, 1953 Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt from LIFE Photo Archive


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